[Interview] Ofeigur Sigurdsson – Jon
Ofeigur Sigurdsson is an Icelandic poet, novelist and translator. He was the first Icelander to be awarded the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011 for the novel Jon. Ofeigur and his well known novel were presented to Macedonian readers during the festival BOOKSTAR.
1.What is currently the biggest taboo according to you in our society?
I’m really not sure. I haven’t thought about taboo in a political sense, but more as a cultural thing. It’s easily confused with what is taboo and what is illegal and the idea of transgression also, so it’s hard to say what is the biggest taboo. Of Course murder is a taboo and child abuse, but that is a very obvious answer.
2. A book can be a very powerful thing, as long as there is anyone to read it. How can literature restore public attention?
I think the way you see language should be as a positive thing, so it’s not a burden for kids to read. When you create an atmosphere where you want to read, where you want to read enough. So, we should make reading appealing for children, not pain. As a writer you can only do your best to make it interesting. But, also if you are writing and thinking about the readers, there is some difficulty, because you are trying to please with your writing and that affects the creativity.
3. Do you feel a dying need to speak about thing a lot of people are afraid to?
Yes, i think that is absolutely vital. In arts you have the freedom or permission to break the taboo and it’s good for the taboo to be broken in arts, so you can reflect on it. You can be open up and examen, so you can understand why it is a taboo , it’s a taboo for a reason, to make it easier for us to life together.
4. How do you like the cover of the book and do you think it’s metaphorically correct?
Yes, I like the book cover very much, it peaks the main character who has to make a decision of going in to the darkness or not. As I understand the cover reflects that decision.
5. Do you believe there is still place for taboos in our modern societies?
Yes, taboos are necessary. When you are a teenager you hate taboos and you want to examen everything and have it open, but as I said before, there is always a very deep foundation for a taboo, ancient, very old. With the sexual revolution in the sixties people thought it was the end of society, but that was not the case. So, the taboo is deeply rooted even in the most liberated societies.